January 17, 2020

New Report Highlights Coverage Losses for Young Children

The Georgetown Center for Children and Families has released a new report that discusses the increasing child uninsured rate. In particular, the authors note the impact of these losses on young children. Key findings of the report included:

  • The nation’s rate and number of uninsured young children (under age 6) increased significantly between 2016 and 2018, following many years of steady decline. This reversal put the number of uninsured young children above 1 million for the first time since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. The rate of uninsured children under age 6 increased significantly between 2016 and 2018, from 3.8 percent in 2016 to 4.3 percent in 2018.
  • Coverage losses were widespread 2016-2018, with many states showing statistically significant increases in the rate and/or number of young, uninsured children. No state experienced a significant decrease in the rate of uninsured young children during the two-year period.
  • Young children are more likely to be uninsured in states that have not expanded Medicaid to parents and other adults and the gap is growing. Between 2016 and 2018, non-expansion states saw an increase in the rate of uninsured children under age 6 more than double the growth in expansion states.
  • Lack of health care coverage makes it more difficult for young children to get recommended check-ups, and families miss out on opportunities for support. From birth to age 6, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children have 15 well child checkups. Access to this care is compromised when a child does not have health insurance. Well-child visits are also avenues to support and engage parents and other caregivers in their own health and successful parenting.

Indiana’s coverage rates did not fare well in this report, with our uninsured rate for young children coming in at 6.1%. This places our state 42nd nationwide and 11th out of 12 Midwestern states for ensuring our children are covered by age 6, a ranking far worse than ours for adult coverage.

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